The PFA Executive Committee Members pay tribute to the Western Sydney Wanderers after they became Australia’s first Asian Champions League Winners.

Matt McKay, President

This is truly a remarkable achievement in every sense. The teams they have overcome on route to the final, the grueling travel and playing schedules only adds to just how big this is. They have shown to everyone what Australian football and its players are capable of. It also highlights just how far the A-League has come and how the standard has continued to rise season on season.

Jon McKain

Having been fortunate enough to have played in the ACL I realise just how big of an achievement this is. The competition is extremely tough, you are competing against teams with massive budgets and you are having to deal with huge amounts of travel. This achievement is going to go down as one of the biggest in Australian sport. We now need teams to qualify consistently and getting through the group stages regularly, we don’t want the Wanderers to be a one off.

Kathryn Gill

This is massive not just for club football in Australia but for football in general in this country. The Wanderers have been a benchmark team in terms of crowd support and how they have gone about things professionally. It has created more of a presence for Australian football in the region and shows that we can be a real powerhouse.

Travis Dodd

It is such an outstanding effort by the players, the coaching staff, the back room staff and everyone at the club to overcome so many obstacles along the way. This is a massive moment in Australian sport, I cannot think of another Australian club team that has done anything as big as this in any code. Western Sydney have put Australian club football on the map and this will make the league much more desirable for players all over the world and this will be important in helping the standard to continue to rise.

Adrian Leijer

In club football in Australian this is the pinnacle now that everybody will be trying to replicate. What they have been through to become Australia’s first ACL Winner is nothing short of outstanding. Having competed in Asia I know how difficult it is and this is a massive moment for the game in this country and once again show its potential.

Alex Wilkinson

Congratulations to Western Sydney on what is an amazing achievement. Their success is not only fantastic for Australian football but it has also helped raise both the awareness and respect of Australian club football in all of Asia.

Mark Milligan

The character and determination that they have shown repeatedly throughout the competition has been unbelievable. No matter what has been thrown in front of them they have found a way to overcome it. This is a huge moment for Australian football and the challenge is to ensure that this is not a one off.

Bruce Djite

It is phenomenal what they have done, for me, and all football fans in Australia, it shows the potential of A-League clubs. It doesn’t stop now for them, they now have the Club World Cup and it is fantastic to have Australian club football on the world stage.

Adam Vivian, Chief Executive

The Wanderers have shown what Australian football and its players are capable of. Their commitment, professionalism and determination in making Australian football history is truly remarkable. The task for all of the games stakeholders is to ensure this is not a one off, this must only be the beginning of Australian success in Asian club football.

John Poulakakis, Chairman

It’s truly an amazing achievement and one that belies the enormity of the challenges that the club and the playing staff has had to overcome. Certainly Adelaide United and the Central Coast Mariners would attest to this but only in time will we truly have the perspective to understand the significance of this success. Deserved congratulations to Tony Popovic and the entire squad but also to Ante Covic for indisputably being the player of the tournament.